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Scenario Design

More on AI Settings And How They Affect The Game

(Updated 11-28-2002, please read the notes regarding the changes after Patch 1.2 at the end of this article.)

by Talon-Thorn and BCH

Independent AI settings

Unit stacks set to "Auto" in their properties will behave according to what is set in the Independent AI settings in the Map Settings Window.


  • Off - All unit stacks set to "Auto" will be "Garrison".
  • Easy and Normal - Unit stacks set on "Auto" will have a random chance of being "Garrison", "Scout" or "Patrol".
  • Aggressive - Unit stacks set on "Auto" will have a random chance of being "Garrison", "Scout", "Patrol", "Beserkers" or "Raiders".

Units for Hire

Normal Hiring: Only units set to AI "Scout," "Garrison," or "Refuge" can be hired (see "Party" AI for exception).

For race-based units, a player may hire them as long as the player has a polite or friendly relationship with the unit's race.

For non-race-based units, any player can hire the unit regardless of alignment.

Ships (air or water) can never be hired and will always have the AI type "Party." Other machines may be hired by any player.

(Note: "hiring" here does not apply to the "Units Join" event, which works differently.)

If a party consists of a mix of race/unit-type, the status of the hiring whole party is based on the most-favorable unit in the party.

For the "Units Join" event, if a player refuses to hire the units on the turn that the units first appear, he can always hire the units later on that same turn or on any later turn in the game, regardless of any settings! The only exception to this is he can't hire a party consisting only of machines or pioneers.

Other players can hire those units (on that first turn or later) based on normal hiring rules.

Note: pioneers are not machines, but are race-based units.


Party AI

The "party" AI setting occurs when a unit is created by the "Spawn Units" event or "Units Join" event (when units are not hired yet). A unit set to "Party" in the game acts differently based on which event caused it to appear, but will always change to a different AI type on the next turn.

Ships and Airships, when they appear due to an event, are always set to "party" when alone in a party, and never change their AI.

All non-ship units, when set to the "Party" AI as a result of the "Spawn Units" event, can be hired as normal by all players.

All non-ship units set to the "Party" AI as a result of the "Units Join" event (when not hired in response to the event) can always be hired later. by the player offered the join. This is true regardless of AI setting, race relationship, or unit type. The only exception to this is, if the "Units Join" stack is composed only of machines or pioneers, then it can not be hired by that player. For all other players, the units fall under the normal hiring rules.

(Note: This article is correct at time of writting, which is before patch 1.2. Please feel free to e-mail us if you find any mistakes or anything that will require updating. Thank you.)

After Patch v1.2 notes:

Ships (air or water) can now be hired if behavior is set to "refuge". (Thanks to Alex for bringing this to our attention.)

Under the latest patch 1.2, there are also two kinds of "garrison" states. If you spawn an army as "garrison" or spawn it as "none" and it becomes "garrison", the units (if they can be hired) will join for free. If the units begin the game on the map as "auto", then become "garrison", they will join only if you pay them.



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